Page 3470 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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There is a major risk that further tourism opportunities associated with renewed investment in mountain biking facilities at Stromlo Forest Park, and across the ACT, will be impacted by ACT government’s inaction. Mr Steel has made a commitment today that he will be investing, bringing in new stakeholders for consultation and making a commitment in this space. We will just have to wait and see to make sure that that actually evolves.

What will this government do in response to this motion? Hopefully, with his amendments and commitments, we will start to see these changes happen, and we will start to grow mountain biking here in the ACT as a tourism destination and become competitive with other destinations from around this country.

My hope is that this government will respond positively to this motion and deliver on its commitment, deliver on its infrastructure, deliver on its funding and develop a tourism strategy to create one central point of contact for the community to use to find out information about mountain biking here in the ACT. In the context of this motion, the Canberra Liberals support the call for this urgent update to mountain biking here in the ACT and for implementation of the master plan for Stromlo Forest Park.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.36): This has been a really fun afternoon. I am really pleased to see Minister Steel’s amendments; the Greens are very happy to support those. I was happy to hear about so much progress, both in those amendments and in what Minister Steel has set out today. It is really great to hear.

It is great that the opposition is supportive of this sport and these facilities. We have got a great start here. We have already got 64,000 overnight visitors riding that mountain bike trail here in Canberra, so we have tens of thousands of people who are already using this area. We know it is a great area, we know it is a growing sport and we know that it is absolutely the right time to move ahead.

I am really pleased that we are going to have that central contact point that is being set up. We have had the email address announced, which it is good to hear, so people can already start emailing to that. That is really going to help, and it is also going to help government to hear individual feedback.

It is fantastic that we have got that expanded stakeholder consultation group, and that we will have more individual engagement with the general public. That will let the mountain biking community and people who use that facility, and people in Canberra who are interested, have their say. That is really great.

It is really good to hear about the trails and maintenance strategy—the Stromlo strategy that we are going to have, the master plan updated. That is such a good opportunity for us to plan long term into the future and to make sure that investment that we make is the investment that we need.

Of course, it is absolutely no problem to report back in August. There is quite a lot here, and we need to get it right. We would certainly always, in the Greens, rather get it right than get it two months earlier, so that is a very sensible amendment.

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